Four-day working week requests to come ‘flooding in’ 

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Businesses across the board have been urged to prepare for requests from employees to offer a four-day working week, after 7 in 10 of workers said they intend to ask their employer to embrace the initiative.

The results from the world’s largest four-day working week trial were published recently, and 56 of the 61 businesses that piloted the scheme have extended it. This includes 18 that have made it permanent.

After the success of this trial, which a number of UK businesses are currently undertaking, requests for the four-day working week may come “flooding in”, say global recruitment agency, Aspire.

This is following a poll held by Aspire, in which nearly 400 candidates participated. The vast majority (69%) plan to ask their employer to implement these working practices. 24% said they won’t and 7% of these surveyed already work a four-day week.

Additionally, Aspire’s quarterly research shows that work/life balance is the second most important aspect of a job, behind salary.

Terry Payne, Global Managing Director of Aspire, commented: “It’s no secret that the adoption of flexible working practices has rapidly accelerated in recent years, with the pandemic acting as a catalyst for this.

“Many businesses are reaping the benefits, too. Many are experiencing an increase in productivity and employees are happier – whether as a result of remote working or four-day working weeks, which pay the same as a five-day week.

“Flexible working and work/life balance are becoming more and more important to candidates. Increasingly, they dictate whether or not someone applies for a job, let alone accepts or rejects an offer.

“Our findings suggest that four-day working week requests may come flooding in. Above all else, it’s crucial that businesses are ready for these questions. Needless to say, some organisations are better placed to adopt four-day weeks than others.

“With this in mind, employers would be wise to assess if this initiative is feasible. This preparation is vital in being able to let staff and potential employees know where they stand.”